Ford engineer develops a Warning System to protect police officers

By Vishal Mathur | Updated 6 Sept 2013
Ford engineer develops a Warning System to protect police officers
  • The surveillance mode uses hardware already installed on most cars, to detect movement that an officer might not see, at certain times.

Ford has announced that it is installing a system in the Police Interceptor that will provide an additional layer of security to police officers, by reducing the risk of being attacked while they may be busy working in their cars. Randy Freiburger, an engineer at the Ford Motor Company, has designed a “Surveillance Mode” system that can detect movement an officer might not necessarily be able to see. The system uses hardware already installed on most cars, like - the reverse parking cameras, traffic and pedestrian detection sensors and the applications that lock and unlock the doors and roll the windows up or down.


New York Times reports that Mr. Freiburger got the inspiration for the system – which Ford calls “Surveillance Mode” – after riding along with officers from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. The deputies he was riding with ended up running after a suspect. Mr. Freiburger said that being left alone in the cruiser made him realize how vulnerable he was.

“I can tell you from personal experience at night that officer security is a critical concern,” says Freiburger. “Unfortunately, there are people with bad intentions who sneak up on police officers. This system builds upon the Ford Police Interceptor DNA that puts safety and security at the top of the list.”


There are times when a police officer sitting inside the cruiser may not realize that someone was creeping up on them

Ford says that when an officer activates the system with the vehicle in park, the backup camera, combined with sensors that detect blind spots and parking obstacles, continually monitors the area to the rear of the vehicle. Surveillance mode can be turned off in situations such as curbside urban settings where pedestrians would constantly set the alarm off. For this technology, Ford collaborated with Intermotive Inc. of Auburn, California.
The time a police officer spends in the police car is a lot, during patrolling and even at times when they are deputed for hours in a particular area. During that time, they may be operating devices like the speed trap radar or even filing out reports. It is at times like these when they are vulnerable to an attack, because they may be distracted with other tasks and not notice a movement around them.


You can see a video that Ford has shared, explaining how the technology works.

Source: New York Times 

Vishal Mathur

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